5019 W Airport Drive
Kincheloe, MI 49788
Phone: 906-495-5631
Email: admin@chippewacountyedc.com

General Aviation Terminal Grand Opening

Chippewa County International Airport (CIU) celebrated the grand opening of its brand new General Aviation Terminal (GA) yesterday, inviting the public and Sault Area Chamber of Commerce to check out the new two-storey facility’s conference room, fixed base operations (FBO-fueling) office, pilot lounge, passenger lobby, and international passenger area. 

“This terminal is a symbol of the region, how we are growing, and continue to grow,” Chippewa County Economic Development Commission (CCEDC) President Chris Olson said. “All the infrastructure out here was built back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Having a new facility serves as a gem for the entire region. From an economic development standpoint, it shows that we are growing and not going backwards.”

The airport is located at the old Kincheloe Air Force base that closed in 1977. Its offices and general aviation terminal was located in the building where air force weather observation once took place. The options were either to improve upon the existing structure or construct a whole new terminal. 

“We decided that constructing a new building was the best option for us,” said Olson. “Typically, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) doesn’t fund general aviation terminals. Through the hard work of our airport manager, Tammy Beseau, we were able to get this to the FAA. The FAA decided to fund it through Airport Improvement Program (AIP) supplemental funding.”

According to a press release issued by CIU last year, approximately $5,271,043 was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation for airport reconstruction and expansion. 

“It’s been a long time coming,” Beseau said, constantly working with the CCEDC to enhance the safety and security of CIU runways, taxiways and LED lighting systems.

Demolition began last fall and construction shortly thereafter to better accommodate private planes, emergency flights, military aircraft, mail delivery, and international visitors. Many travellers fly air charter when visiting the Le Cheneaux Islands, Mackinac Island, Soo Locks, and other Eastern Upper Peninsula destinations.

“Prior to this upgrade, the airport could bring in about 300 cars per year,” Olson said. “With this new upgrade, it can bring in about 800. We facilitated about 50,000 passengers coming in and out last year.”

He added that the airport is currently seeking seasonal employees to help maintain its runway and grounds this winter season.   

The Chippewa County Economic Development Commission maintains a total of 23 buildings, over five miles of streets, 2.5 miles of railway, 500 acres of land, and maintenance/snow removal equipment throughout the county.

To book a commercial flight with the Chippewa County International Airport, contact Delta.com. For airport information, visit the CIU website at airciu.com.

The above article source is from SooLeader.com

The public is welcome to view the new facility Thursday October 20, 2022 from 10am-2pm. Building dedication will be at 2pm. Grandpa’s Mini Donuts will be on site! We are excited to for everyone to see and celebrate the new addition to the community of Kincheloe.